Friday, 3rd December, 2021

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Friday, 3rd December, 2021


The House met at 0900 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]









The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, let me acquaint the House with the business it will consider next week.


Madam, on Tuesday, 7th December, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads:


  1. Head 19 – Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit;
  2. Head 05 – Electoral Commission of Zambia;
  3. Head 06 – Civil Service Commission – Office of the President; and
  4. Head 34 – Human Rights Commission.


Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 8th December, 2021, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by the consideration of a Private Member’s Motion entitled: Cancel Water Bills, to be moved by Mr C. Kang’ombe, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa Parliamentary Constituency. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads:


  1. Head 07 – Office of the Auditor-General;
  2. Head 08 – Cabinet Office – Office of the President; and
  3. Head 09 – Teaching Service Commission – Office of the President.


Madam, on Thursday, 9th December, 2021, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 12 – Office of the Public Protector;
  2. Head 21 – Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance and National Planning; and
  3. Head 37 – Ministry of Finance and National Planning.


Madam Speaker, on Friday, 10th December, 2021, the Business of the House will commence with The Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 25 – Local Government Service Commission;
  2. Head 27 – Public Service Management Division; and
  3. Head 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.






Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, thank you very much and I welcome you back.


Madam Speaker, on 12th August, 2021, the New Dawn Government received a wide mandate from the Zambian people through a vote. The people included the youths, the women and people living with disabilities from all the ten provinces of this country. In the recent past, citizens have voiced concerns over the recent appointments into public office by His Excellency the President, including appointments at State House, in the Judiciary and the Civil Service in general. They stated that the President has not given due consideration to provisions under Article 259 in making these appointments.


Madam Speaker, for clarity purposes, I will quickly read through Article 259 in part. It reads:


“(1)   Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure –


  1. that fifty percent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so; and
  2. equitable representation of the youth and persons with disabilities, where these qualify for nomination or appointment.


  1. A person empowered to make a nomination or appointment to a public office shall, where possible, ensure that the nomination or appointment reflects the regional diversity of the people of Zambia.”


Madam Speaker, Zambians are concerned that the appointments that have been made have had no due regard to these provisions. Her Honour the Vice-President is the number one adviser to the President. Has she had occasion to engage the President over the recent appointments to ensure that he acts within the provisions of Article 259?


Hon. Member: You should be shy to ask such a question.


Madam Speaker: Can we have some order!


The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the House, for that concern. I do not know whether the hon. Member has truly scrutinised the appointments. If he has, he could have laid the evidence on the Table.


Madam Speaker, I will start by saying that the appointments are not over yet. The appointments are still going on in the Civil Service. However, in terms of Article 259 (1)(b), a number of women, girls and young ladies have been appointed. Talking of region, you will see that the President is trying where possible and the article that the hon. Member read includes the words ‘where possible’ – The President has as much as possible appointed people considering all these factors the hon. Member referred to. The appointments are still going on and we pray that everybody gets taken on board.


So, issues of regional representation, gender, persons with disability and the youths have all been taken into consideration. Many youths have been appointed except I do not know who you define as a youth. We have a number of youthful men here because even my son Kampyongo is a youth. He was the youth chairman not long ago. So, he must be a youth.




The Vice-President: So, a number of hon. Members are youths and many civil servants are actually still youths.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, thank you very much and welcome back to the House.


Madam Speaker, in case Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Agriculture are not properly informed, we, the people of Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency want to inform them that the 2021/2022 Farming Season is actually a total failure and disaster by the New Dawn Administration.


Hon. Government Members: Question!




Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


Hon. Member for Bwacha, please, ask your question. Time is running out.


Mr Mushanga: They are the ones who are wasting time, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, I say so because the previous Administration procured seeds for sorghum, millet, groundnuts, cow peas and soya and stored them in various storages across the country. Even in the constituencies where the hon. Members on the right come from, these seeds are in the storages, but they are not being distributed, and we wonder why they are being kept. When is the Government going to distribute these seeds, especially to small-scale farmers?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Bwacha for asking that question, except he premises it on ‘complete failure’. I think I will not respond to that part but let me respond to the real question on seed distribution because this Government has not failed. It is doing very well.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: In fact, we found many challenges, including the purchase of maize. We had to pick it up from where our hon. Colleagues left from, and we had to find a solution to that. The distribution of seeds is starting now and we had to work out modalities of how to distribute the seeds. Remember, a number of things have been done, particularly under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and we had to look at how to distribute the inputs. We want everything to be done orderly and equitably. So, the distribution of seeds is starting now.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and, obviously, it is good to have you back.


Madam Speaker, the Government, at a very high cost, has provided inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), and as Her Honour the Vice-President may be well aware, the farmers in the Southern Province have been given a special package. Now that we have not had rain as expected, this may mean that if this trend continues, our food security may be at risk. Since Zambia is a Christian Nation, is the New Dawn Government summoning the nation to a one day of prayer so that …


Mr Katakwe: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kafwaya: … we can petition God in prayer and he can send the rains, just in case –


Madam Speaker: Order!


A point of order cannot be raised during this section. Please, proceed.


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, is the New Dawn Government not considering summoning the nation to a one day of prayer to petition God, so that God can forgive us and send the rains? This is just in case God was not happy with what happened during the elections and has continued to be unhappy with what is happening.




Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


We feel sorry for God who is being brought into this debate.




The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Lunte for asking that question, except it is not very easy to understand his questions as he has put them. First of all, he said that the farmers in the Southern Province have been given a special package and I am not aware of that special package. I am aware of the fact that under the previous Administration, the farmers in the Southern Province, the Western Province and I think the North-Western Province and parts of Lusaka, were given inputs under the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) System and the hon. Member must understand what e-Voucher means compared to the Direct Input Supply. The farmers in these regions I have mentioned, which are Southern, Western, North-Western and parts of Lusaka, got inputs worth K1,700 or somewhere there or close to K2,000, and that includes their contribution, which was K400, whereas the farmers in the rest of the country got inputs worth K8,000.




The Vice-President: Yes, this is the truth. I am sure my hon. Colleagues who were in the Government understand this and I listened carefully to the reason they gave that being that the Southern Province, for example, does not have enough rainfall. They took the position of God and decided to not give the people in that province inputs. That is what it meant, but I have never heard of less rainfall in the North-Western Province. So, when hon. Colleagues raise questions here, they have to understand that we are making some corrections. There is nothing special about the Southern Province. We just brought about equity, so that every Zambian can get a fair share. What is due to a person in Kaputa, should be due to a person in Kalabo and not to give out inputs differently. That is the first issue the hon. Member referred to in terms of a region being special or maybe I do not know what special thing is there beyond that.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member also referred to the fact that we may not have enough rain and that is what we know from our human perspective. We have done research and we know that in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, there will be drought in some areas and there will be too much rain in other areas. We are aware of that, but as the hon. Member said, God knows the final result.


Madam Speaker, as to whether we should call for a day of prayer, the word of God the hon. Member is referring to, if it the word of the same God who is his and mine, says that God is not mocked. Whatsoever you sow, you shall reap. What does it mean? It means that you cannot just go and say, “God, God,” and make a day, then walk away and continue in your sin; the sin that the hon. Member referred to which was committed during elections.


Yes, I agree with you that there were many wrongs, particularly from you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: When I say ‘you’, there are many in ‘you’. There was a lot of violence and whether we like it or not, it cannot please God.


Madam Speaker, we want to go through the list of the people who died? We can do that, but it is not necessary. I have said that if we have to heal, let us admit, and continue moving forward. Otherwise, I will stand here and start counting; this was a wrong; you did this and you did that. When are we going to heal?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: That is a fact. There were many injuries on our side, as they see us, but we have to move on and heal. That is what God expects of us. If one does not forgive, one holds poison inside of oneself and, tomorrow, it will be bad.


So, Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member sees wrong things, he has to forgive. I am now speaking like a preacher, but I am the Vice- President.




The Vice-President: This is a fact; healing does not start with the one who injured somebody, but the one who was injured. He/she must deliberately choose to forgive.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: This is what this team has done, forgive. We will forgive and we will continue to forgive, but forgetting is something else.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, this is important. God does not save by thousands, but even by one. I encourage the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte to start praying that God forgives the nation. God will hear. The living God, Jehovah, will hear and will answer so that we do not have a calamity attributed to an act of God, withholding rain. You will remember that it was Elijah who prayed alone and the rains came.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Madam Speaker, some farmers in Chinsali Constituency, and other districts in Muchinga Province as well as others from other provinces, have not been paid for the maize that they supplied to the Government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). What has happened is that those unpaid farmers have difficulties paying for fertiliser. Those who have managed to buy fertiliser have difficulties transporting it from the central business district to the farming fields. So, I want to find out whether the Government has put a time frame to when all farmers in Zambia are going to be paid for the maize that they supplied to the FRA.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chinsali for the concern, although, sometimes, one can run out of answers. This question, for example, has been coming almost every Friday.


Hon. Members: Yes


The Vice-President:  Yes, apa komaila nganga? Who can finish? Hon. Kampyongo can finish.


Mr Kampyongo: Ninshi pali ubulema.


The Vice-President: Great.


We do realise that there is need for those who supplied maize to be paid. The question started from here where hon. Members were asking what we were going to do with so much maize grain lying in our constituencies because the Government had planned for less than what was produced. I think we started answering to that, where we said that as a responsible Government, we would mop up the maize. We might not have had the money to pay then, but we mopped up the maize. I thought hon. Members would be helping; they are part of the Government. They should be helping to explain to our farmers the difficulty that is in paying those farmers who supplied maize; K1.6 billion is what we owe. That is not money you just find anyhow. The Budget we are in now did not provide for that. So, hon. Members must understand. If there was no provision, that means we have to look for money from elsewhere, probably in the Budget that we are passing, and that means really trying to do that.


Madam Speaker, it is a commitment. We have asked the FRA to start selling, including exporting when the markets are clear, and that money will go to pay the farmers who sold their maize to the FRA.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member brings in another point that farmers are failing to get their fertiliser from the district point to their farms. I do not want to sound uncaring, but truth be told, surely, this is the fertiliser which has been highly subsidised, all of us know, and taken to the closest point and you want it to be taken to the farmer?


Madam Speaker, let us encourage Zambians to put in as much. When we just want everything for free, it does not help anybody. The Government has done all that it could. Let us ensure the fertiliser is in the district and then people will be able to take it. That part, that they have spent money, makes them feel responsible. Let us not be politicking were it is not necessary.



Madam Speaker, we have tried and know their challenges. We are working on that money. As soon as the FRA sells, even a bit, we will start paying them because they worked for it. We will do it. For now, the Budget for 2021 did not provide for this maize, and we are selling it so that we can pay the farmers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, welcome back, with your entourage.


Madam Speaker, since the days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and the Patriotic Front (PF) –


Madam Speaker: Order!


Hon. Members, as we sit, we should observe the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) rules. Members are just crowding together. Hon. Member for Chitambo, I thought you were in front; how come you are behind there now?




Madam Speaker: Please, keep social distance.


Mr Mutelo: Now there is New Dawn. The cry of the people of Mangango, Lukulu, Mitete, Liuwa, Kabompo and Zambezi is no other than the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa/Mumbezhi Road.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Are we going to see the light of the day, either via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or Public Private Partnership (PPP)?


Madam, all these three regimes failed the people of Lukulu and Mitete. Are we seeing hope in the New Dawn?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. I also thank the hon. Member for Mitete for that question. I cannot repeat the places he mentioned because they were quite a number, but I hear the concern that the road has not been attended to for a long time.


Mr Mutelo: Katunda


The Vice-President: Katunda, yes, it has not been attended to for a long time. However, the Hon. Member is aware that that road has been planned for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and that is almost a sure way because it will be an economic road. Therefore, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development has put that road on that programme. So, can you see light at the end of the tunnel? We promise you light at the end of the tunnel. The New Dawn Government will work on that road through a PPP.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, I thank you, and welcome back.


Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government is doing a commendable job in pursuing crimes committed retrospectively, from as far back as 2015.


Now, Madam Speaker, on 14th January, 2011, in the Western Province, the Government then committed atrocities, extra judicial killings, which resulted into a commission of inquiry being instituted by the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. To date, there has been no justice for those individuals who were killed mercilessly by the State. Some of the people who undertook this, I believe are alive. This commission of inquiry is there. Now that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is in the Government, is it willing, as a Government, to give the families of these people justice by bringing to their attention who really ordered this killing and the contents of the Roger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for the question from the hon. Member for Nalolo referring to alleged crimes committed in 2011, he says, by the State. He also refers to a commission of inquiry that was set up.


Madam Speaker, I will not be categorical here, but say generally that there is no limitation of time to any criminal liability. However, we may not be aware, and I do not know whether the Commission of Inquiry Report was made public. If it was not made public, it means we are not aware. It would now mean digging into the archives to see that which was there.


Madam Speaker, the question is, what would have hindered the people who were in a great hurry to constitute an inquiry from publishing the contents of its report after it came out? They instead kept quiet. We do not know what stopped that. It would mean a lot of work for us to go back. However, I will not make any commitment to what this Government will do. I will not make a commitment because we are not aware of what was in the report and, therefore, cannot pinpoint individuals or, indeed, the State as having been guilty. It will mean going back.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Simbao (Luanshya): Madam Speaker, on behalf of Luanshya Constituency and, indeed, on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate both you and His Excellency the President of Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the people of Luanshya are very happy with this Government …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: … especially when they hear that retirees will be paid in 2022. They are over excited.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: However, there is a company called Chat Breweries, which operated in Luanshya and employed many people. However, when the economy of Luanshya went down, it relocated to Lusaka where it is doing fine. It left the people of Luanshya without being paid, but promised that it would come back and pay them. However, all efforts have been made; we have approached the Labour Commissioner, but the people in this company are adamant.


Madam Speaker, the people of Luanshya are pleading with this understanding Government to assist them in the way it has assisted retirees, by talking to this company through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.


Madam Speaker, similarly, former workers of Mpelembe Drilling is another group that has not been paid.


Madam Speaker, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) workers in Luanshya have now gone for twenty-four months without being paid. This is what is making Luanshya a miserable town. Can you please help us?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Luanshya for that question. Maybe, let me start by thanking him for congratulating us for making it into the Government. However, I must I admit that it is a little confusing for me to respond to that question sincerely because the companies seem to be mixed a little.


Madam Speaker, the Government cannot take the responsibility of a private company. So, I do not know whether those were Government or private companies. The hon. Member may come, even after this, to explain to me what he is dealing with because when private companies have not paid their employees, all we do as the Government is provide the enabling environment where individuals or groups of people can go to the courts of law and demand that which belongs to them. However, for the Government to take over debt of a private company would be going a little too far. It does not work that way. We just want those companies to follow the law. If they were liquidated, they know under which category they fall. If the company completely collapsed, they should know which laws apply to them.


Madam Speaker, maybe, at the right time, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security could explain, with those cited companies in mind, because I cannot tell whether they are Government institutions. Truly, the Government can take over Government debt whether it is an old debt from two Governments before or just the previous Government, it is still Government, but private is private.


I thank you, Madam Speaker. 


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, we welcome you back home. Whereas it is stated that the previous administration had an appetite for running bloated budgets and of course, wasteful expenditure, could Her Honour the Vice-President shed more light on what the New Dawn Government is doing to turn the economy around whether it is going to take a lot of time or not and may she kindly tell the House or the nation the benefits of the New Dawn Government creating new ministries and realigning some, and of course, how many ministries we have as at now.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Roan for that complicated question.




The Vice-President: I will start with the easiest question. I think there are twenty-five ministries. Truly, when it comes to the Budget over-run, we will not go that way. This Government is very serious. We are planning here, yes; there will be times where we will overrun because as we are planning, there is this little money that is there. Along the way, we may have to increase on certain things through the Supplementary Budget. We will do that because it is part of the system that we have established. However, we will be very prudent in expenditure. We will also ensure that the economy is turned around, and that may not have to take so long. Right now, as a Government, we are closing the gaps where there has been bleeding of the economy. That means wastage, and we have talked about that here. Costs in the procurement of goods and services are inflated and it was free for all. I think we mentioned here that this Government is going to invoke, in fact, it has invoked the provisions of the Public Procurement Act where it provides for benchmarking of prices. So, this time it is not just going to be a situation where you have a 10 kilometre road, like I saw somewhere, where there is no tree or anything and the cost for grading it is K30 million. What criterion are you using? This Government will stop those gaps so that money is not draining out.


Madam Speaker, another thing we are doing is to stop corruption. Corruption is another bleeding point. There is no way you are going to grow the economy with corruption. Both these things we will not allow no matter how much money comes in. The example I have always given is that blood is finishing in your body because you have a wound after an accident and you are bleeding while being transfused without mending or suturing the wound. Blood will be coming out as it is going in. Are you going to heal? Are you going to have blood?


Hon. UPND Members: No!


The Vice-President: This Government is first suturing everywhere where there was bleeding so that when money that comes in, it stays, ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: …and works to provide services to the Zambian people. These are some of these things that we are doing. We will be careful with the resources that come in. That is how you grow the economy so that the hon. Member can earn his money by hard work, so that my son, Mundubile, can earn his money with his free conscious. We want rich people here in this country but we do not want money which is ill gotten.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President:  When you get it freely, you will go to bed saying this is my money. I have worked for it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, welcome back to this august House. I know that my mother, Her Honour the Vice-President was misled last Friday by one of my hon. Colleagues whom I have spoken to and in the spirit of forgiving each other, I accepted the apology by the hon. Member for Bweengwa who misled Her Honour the Vice-President. I hope he will apologise to Her Honour the Vice-President as well over the events in Shiwang’andu after my declaration was affirmed by the High Court.


Madam Speaker, three months ago, there was a question posed to Her Honour the Vice-President regarding the cost of commodities or the food basket prices. She did assure the nation through this august House that within the course of three months, things were going to turn around and be positive as the Kwacha was gaining strength against foreign currencies such as the United States Dollar. As of last week, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) did an analysis and it pointed out that the cost of the food basket continues to escalate beyond the means of many of our people. What would her message to the people, three months down the line, be?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu for the question of concern although he started with last week’s question where he thinks I was misled. In fact, I remember during this week, he did raise that issue and defended himself that he had not done that. Just to clarify where we are coming from, for I am trying to remember, he raised a point of order in accordance with Standing Order 65 (b) to raise that point. I sat here and said this hon. Member is capable of defending himself so why should he use a point of order because that Standing Order stops people who cannot defend themselves, but he defended himself here. So, I think that the Standing Order was wrongly used sitting here. I am not the Presiding Officer. If it was me, I was going to say, you have defended yourself.


Madam Speaker, I think the most important part of his question is on the food basket; commodities. Last week, if you remember, I had given a number of examples but if the price of the food basket is going up, it becomes a very difficult thing. Like I said, there are no conditions that should make the price of the food basket go up because right now, inflation is going down. One would expect that with the inflation slowly going down, there should be no need for escalating cost of commodities. I think this is what I tried to say even last week. Maybe, we really need to find out what is happening. We can ask the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to come and tell us exactly what is happening in the economy because as far as we are concerned, with inflation going down, commodity prices must also slowly go down. It is not something you will see. If it changes immediately and prices go down, there will be turbulence in the economy. That may not be good. We need to get down slowly. That is what we are doing so that we remain with stability.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, in the interest of time, as of yesterday, 2nd December, 2021, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government clocked 100 days in office. It is said that politically, 100 days determine what the next four years will be, whether good or bad. How would Her Honour the Vice-President rate the 100 days on a scale of one to ten? From the people’s perspective, how has the UPND performed?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I believe that the hon. Member for Matero Constituency who has asked the question also has an answer to that because he is also observing. As I am, if we have to give a benefit of doubt, we will say nine out of ten.




The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, can we honestly fail to see that there is reduction in confusion in market places? Is that not a score?




Madam Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kasama Central, your voice is very loud from here.


The Vice-President: Kasama Central?


Madam Speaker: Oh, sorry, it is Kalulushi Constituency.




Madam Speaker: Apologies to the hon. Member for Kasama Central. Hon. Members, can we allow the Vice-President to answer.


The Vice-President: So, basically, what I am saying is that all of us must see. On corruption, how many people have been questioned in this House? That is another score.


Madam Speaker, in fact, I can go on a long list, but this question was on a score of one and ten. I have said nine to give him room to think.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








101. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security:


  1. whether the Government is aware that Karavinas are allegedly shooting people in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency on suspicion of practicing witchcraft and that on Wednesday, 24th November, 2021, one person was killed and two others injured in the following Wards:


  1. Kashima East;


  1. Kashima West; and


  1. Kalambo; and


      b. if so, what urgent measures are being taken to prevent further loss of life in the constituency.


The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, thank you and welcome back home. The Government is aware that suspected Karavinas are shooting innocent citizens on a suspicion o practicing witchcraft in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency. On Wednesday 24th November, 2021, at about 2300 hours, the Zambia Police Service recorded a murder case involving a male person aged 62 years of Sekeseke Village, Chief Sikufele in Kalambo District which was reported by the sister to the deceased.


Madam Speaker, the brief facts of the matter are that on 24th November, 2021, at around 2100 hours, the victim was shot twice using an unidentified firearm by unknown people while he was bathing in a grass thatched shelter and he dies on the spot. The deceases sustained two gun shots wounds. The assailants are suspected to be Karavinas. The body of the deceased was deposited in Mufumbwe District Hospital Mortuary awaiting post-mortem examination. The police have instituted investigations into the matter.


Madam Speaker, in another case, on 17th October, 2021, at about 1420 hours, the Zambia Police Service received a case of attempted murder from a man of Kayeye Village. The facts are that three unknown male persons followed the victim at his farm where he was living. The three suspects discharged a firearm towards the victim, but fortunately, the bullet missed the victim. This incident happened on 16th October, 2021, at about 2000 hours in Kashanga area, Chief Chizela in Mufumbwe District. Police have instituted investigations into the matter.


Madam Speaker, the Zambia Police Service is implementing the following measures to prevent further loss of lives in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency:


  1. heightened intelligence information gathering;
  2. enhanced foot and motorised patrols in Mufumbwe District to curb the criminal activities in the area; and
  3. engaging traditional and civic leaders to sensitise citizens on dangers and consequences of illegal possession of firearms and shooting innocent citizens suspected of practicing witchcraft.


Madam Speaker, as I indicated in my ministerial statement issued on 30th November, 2021, the Government, through the Zambia Police Service is still encouraging citizens to surrender illegal firearms through the amnesty programme. The programme will end on 31st December, 2021, and all those with illegal firearms are encouraged to surrender them to the Zambia Police Service. The state will give a token of appreciation to all those surrendering their illegal firearms during this amnesty.


Madam Speaker, once the amnesty is over, law enforcement agencies will embark on operations to confiscate all illegal firearms. All those found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chitotela: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order in relation to Standing Order 206 on the hon. Member for Kankoyo, who has an appetite for bringing in foreign attire in this Chamber. The hon. Member of Parliament for Kankoyo is introducing a new attire against Standing Order 206. Last time he came and did the same and today again, he is dressed in foreign attire that is not acceptable in this House. Is he in order to come dressed in the manner he is? I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Kanda Bongo Man!


Madam Speaker: Order!


From where I am sitting, I cannot see his attire properly.  However, if he is – is that not a safari suit?


Hon. PF Members: No!




Madam Speaker: Hon. Members are advised to be properly attired. If the hon. Member is not properly attired, please, make sure that you conform to the acceptable standards of dressing in the House.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to ask a follow-up question on a point of clarification on the answer given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. Going by his answer, the hon. Minister stated that the people who may have been attacked, and he categorically mentioned that they were innocent people and of course, that leaves an argument as to whether they were really innocent.


Madam Speaker, however, my substantive question emanates from the fact that this Karavina problem is all over in the North-Western  Province and part of the Western Province but it has not received the attention that is required in as far as investigations are concerned. Most often than not, the police arrest people and they end up having no evidence. Do the Ministry have some kind of intelligence which it has planned to plant in areas affected such as this one in Mufumbwe, where more information would be received by the police so that at the time an arrest is made, cases are competently prosecuted and convictions secured to stop this vice?


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I want to state categorically that all these individuals who are being killed on suspicious of witchcraft are innocent and that is a fact. We should also take into account that there is a law that prohibits witchcraft in this country. Anyone who alleges that somebody is practicing witchcraft is also committing an offence, hence, we are saying that these killings are illegal and they should not be tolerated.


Madam Speaker, I want to state that there is a code of silence in situations where members of the public are killed using these so-called Karavinas. In most of the instances, the family members of the person who gets killed are involved and they connive not to release any information to the police because there is a belief that when somebody is killed through witchcraft, the family has gotten rid of the one who is killing members of the family. So, they connive and they do not want to give any information. Even when the police go to visit these areas, especially in Zambezi, they are also threatened that they are now conniving with the Karavinas.


Madam Speaker, I want to appeal, through you, on a serious note that members of the public and the leaders in this House must ensure they sensitise our people pertaining to witchcraft.


Hon. Government Members: Hera, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I have no doubt in my mind that all of us know that even after eliminating the so-called witch in the family, people do not cease dying.  They continue dying. That just shows that these are just myths which people believe. We must also take note that these issues of witchcraft have arisen and they are becoming rampant as a result of poverty in the areas which we are presiding over. Poverty levels and the lack of education have risen. It is our responsibility to up the education levels of our people so that they do not continue believing in archaic beliefs which will not lead them anywhere.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for the answers that he has given to the people of Mufumbwe. One of the challenges that the people of Mufumbwe and the men and women in uniform are facing is the lack of transport. This issue of Karavinas has been there, like my brother has said, for some time now. So, it is like that is the only way these Karavinas are going to decide to do things. Now, the problem that the people of Mufumbwe are facing is the lack of transport. As the hon. Minister may be aware, Mufumbwe is quite vast. It has been a very big challenge for the people to travel to those areas to find out, especially the police, where these people are. Is the ministry not considering, as a matter of urgency, providing transport to the men and women in uniform in Mufumbwe so that they are able to protect the lives of the people?


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, the House may recall that yesterday I did lament that the Zambia Police Force is lacking motorised transport to police the vast areas of Zambia and I made an earnest appeal to this House that as we consider the Budget, let us find ways and means of providing resources to the Zambia Police. The responsibility of providing money is on us, as the House, when we are considering the Budget.


Madam Speaker, I did make a plea and an assurance that we will consult the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning as he makes the Supplementary Budget so that motor vehicles are made available to the Zambia Police. All of us here are Parliamentarians and in our various jurisdictions, we are aware that the Zambia Police do not have motor vehicles to police our areas. It is a matter of priority for the Government to find resources and purchase motor vehicles for our areas and in particular, areas like Mufumbwe, which is a vast rural area. 


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the issue of Karavinas has been an issue that has been coming to this House for quite some time now and many complaints have been noted from that part of Zambia. In his response, the hon. Minister just indicated that even the police are sometimes threatened. It appears that Karavinas in this area have become very powerful, having had experience with them as well.


Madam Speaker, this issue of Karavinas must be brought to an end if we have to see peace in Mufumbwe and areas in Zambezi. Now that we know that even the police are threatened, is the hon. Minister considering engaging other security wings to help curb Karavinas?


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we have not yet reached that level where we would want to engage other military institutions in this country but we are obviously liaising with other intelligence wings to ensure that information is provided to the Zambia Police.


Madam Speaker, I also want to indicate that initially, these Karavinas used to use conventional weapons like AK 47s but they have now modified their way of doing business. They are manufacturing these weapons in the villages such that the police themselves do not even know the type of weapons that are being used. That is where the complication is but as I indicated, we are making every effort in conjunction with other wings of the Government to bring this issue to the end. It is not only in the Western Province. It has spread all over the country and it is a matter that we are going to attend to.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about the arms amnesty, and I want to find out from him, whether he feels that the measures that has been used to communicate to the masses are enough? If not, is he not considering using other means to make sure that people in the whole country are able to know that this time around, if they take their arms or a gun to the Government, they would not be given a case to answer.


Mr Mwiimbu:  Madam Speaker, I want to confirm that we are not only going to confine our address to the people through this House. Yesterday, I had a press briefing at my office, which was broadcast on all Government media outlets and other private institutions, to alert the people on the need to surrender illegal firearms. We are also rehearsing with the Ministry Information and Media to ensure that the message gets to the people in the remote parts of Zambia. We are doing that hon. Member.








The Deputy Chairperson: Hon Members, the House will recall that on Tuesday, 1st December, 2021, when the House was considering Head 10 – Zambia Police Service Commission and Mr P. Twasa, Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency, was on the Floor, Hon. G. G. Nkombo, MP, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development raised a point of order. 


The gist of Hon. G. G. Nkombo MP’s point of order was whether Mr P. Twasa MP, was in order to allege that Cabinet had hijacked a function of service commissions by employing police officers without stating which police officers had been employed by Cabinet.


In my immediate response to the point of order, I, sitting as Chairperson of the Committee of Supply, reserved my ruling to enable me study the matter. I have studied the matter and I will now render the ruling.


Mr Twasa walked in into the Assembly Chamber to his seat.


Hon. Members: Order, order!


Hon Members, Standing Order 131 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021 provides for the procedure to be followed when raising a point of order. In particular, Standing Order 13(3) states:


“In raising a Point of Order, a member shall cite the Standing Order, law on privilege of members, rule of procedure or practice, which has been allegedly breached.”


Hon Members, I have perused the relevant verbatim record of what transpired on the material day and it is clear that in raising his point of order, Hon. G. G. Nkombo, MP, did not cite the Standing Order, law on privilege or rule of procedure that Mr Twasa, MP, had breached. In view of this, the point of order breached the procedural requirement I have just outlined.  The point of order is, therefore, inadmissible.


I wish to remind Hon Members to clearly cite the rule, law, privilege, practice or procedure breached whenever they raise a point of order.


I thank you.










VOTE 16 – (Drug Enforcement Commission – K118, 271,672)


(Consideration resumed)



Mr Chisanga: Mr Chairperson, in fact, I was at the tail end of my debate when the House adjourned, I just want to make a point to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that in enforcing drug related laws, a distinction must be drawn between aggressors and victims of a crime. Many times when we find ourselves at court, there are people that we deal with who end up actually being found guilty of drug trafficking or drug use and are merely people that are victims and we do not chase after aggressors.


Mr Chairperson, I am suggesting that the training that should be provided to the drug enforcers must be to comb out those who are responsible for drug peddling and help out the victims by sending them to rehabilitation centres as opposed to giving them custodial sentences.


 Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks I want to say the people of Lukashya Constituency do support this Head.


I thank you, sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Members who debated the Motion, pertaining to the Budget for the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). There are: Hon. Sampa, Hon. Andeleki, and Hon. Chisanga.


Mr Chairperson, in their discourse, my colleagues brought out a number of important issues which we need to take into account, as we endeavour to implement the budget once it is approved. One of the issues that was raise is the issue of separating the two roles that are being played by the DEC that is prevention and controlling of illegal cultivation, production, trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and the money laundering portfolios.


Mr Chairperson, I want to state that it is an unusual that money laundering activities are not related to drug trafficking or matters related thereto. It is therefore, important that as we interrogate this proposal, we critically analyse the issues that have been raised and look at the issues that have been raised as we make a final determination. You may have noted that whenever those individuals who are involved in drug trafficking what to clean their money, they engage in money laundering. So the two are related


Mr Chairperson, Hon. Chisanga raised a matter relating to rehabilitation and I want to inform the House that we have taken this matter very seriously. We have made proposals pertaining to the establishment of a national rehabilitation centre. We have already acquired land in the extent of 1,000 ha and all we are looking for now are resources to ensure that we embark on the construction of this facility. This facility will be important in view of the agenda the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has.


Mr Chairperson, the other issue that was raised is pertaining to the street children and I think all of us are aware of the rampant abuse of drugs by our children who are found in the unfortunate situation of being in the streets. Drug suppliers are abusing our children and they have found a soft spot of supplying drugs to them. We have taken particular interest in this and we are working with other relevant institutions in the country to ensure that we protect our children.


Mr Chairperson, once again, I thank my hon. Colleagues who have debated this Motion for the support they have rendered.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Vote 16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 51 – (Ministry of Transport and Logistics – K462,785,784)


The Minister of Transport and Logistics (Mr Tayali): Mr Chairperson, it is, indeed, a great honour and privilege for me to present to this august House the 2022 budget policy statement for the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, mandated by the portfolio functions contained in Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021. My ministry is charged with the responsibility to formulate, regulate and administer policies and strategies in the transport and logistics sector, which includes road, railway, aviation and maritime subsectors.


Mr Chairperson, transport is a catalyst in the economy and transforms the country by facilitating economic activities and promoting trade and investment both locally and internationally.


Review of the Current Budget Performance


Mr Chairperson, in 2021, the former Ministry of Transport and Communication was allocated K408,758,894 and had a supplementary budget of K209,858,736, bringing the budget provisions to K618,617,630. The reported funding as at 23rd November, 2021, was K523,374,885.30.


Mr Chairperson, some of the achievements of my ministry in 2021, include among others the following.


Mr Chairperson, in the aviation subsector, as of 31st October, 2021, the design and construction of airport infrastructure at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport was at 97 per cent. The new terminal building was commissioned for operations in August 2021, although there are still works that are being undertaken that include the cargo terminal, VVIP pavilion and air traffic control tower. The overall progress of the design and construction of the green field Copperbelt International airport runway terminal, air traffic control tower, cover terminal and hanger in Ndola was at 97 per cent by 31st October 2021.


Mr Chairperson, the airport though incomplete was hurriedly commissioned in August 2021, but commenced operations in October 2021. These projects will improve passenger capacity from 4 million per annum to about 10 million passengers per year. Additionally, the construction of a runway apron and fence at Kasama Airport was at 86 per cent, while the commercialisation of Mbala Airport was at 92 per cent by 31st October, 2021.


Mr Chairperson, in the road subsector, the ministry launched the road smart enforcement application on 27th November 2021, in its effort to adopt smart innovations to enforce traffic rules and regulations. This is a mobile phone based smart enforcement application which supports the automated enforcement of vehicle and driver related violations such as validity of road tax, certificate of fitness, driving licence, including the road service licence for commercial vehicles. This enforcement mechanism will help in reducing transportation and logistics costs as well as ensuring the smooth flow of traffic on the Zambian roads with minimal presence of traffic law enforcement officers on the roads.


Mr Chairperson, with regard to the maintenance of office equipment, my ministry allocated 15,444 pieces of office equipment and 57,903 pieces of furniture with the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) serial numbers against annual targets of 12,000 and 36,000 respectively. In addition, the ministry distributed 500 copies of the 2021 to 2023 government office equipment management standards to all ministries, provinces and the Zambian missions abroad by 30th June, 2021.


Mr Chairperson, not withstanding these achievements, the ministry was negatively affected by:


  1. the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which continued to seriously impact on the transport sector, with the aviation sub-sector being the most affected resulting in reduced flights;
  2. inadequate long term financing sources for railway infrastructure and related programmes; and
  3. prolonged review and clearances of legislative and institutional frameworks in the Government.


Key Activities to be Implemented in 2022


Mr Chairperson, in the year 2022, the ministry proposes to spend K462,785,784. This allocation represents an increase of 13.2 per cent compared to the 2021 allocation of K408,758,894. From this allocation, K40,102,842, is for personal emoluments, K252,810,337 for programme implementation and K2,681,997 for procurement of assets. The ministry targets to raise revenues amounting to K769,825,837 from its various revenue streams.


Mr Chairperson, in aviation, the focus will be to ensure that the sector contributes to the growth of the economy through investments in aviation infrastructure at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, Kasaba Bay Airport, as well as provincial airports. This will facilitate the easy movement of both passengers and cargo.


Mr Chairperson, in the water transport subsector, the focus will be on the completion of digitising the vessel register as well as the development of harbour infrastructure. This ministry will ensure that legal and operational reforms are enhanced in order to ease water transport and promote tourism and trade.


Mr Chairperson, in the railway subsector, we will focus on recapitalising the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) to ensure the rehabilitation, upgrading and effective maintenance of existing railway infrastructure and rolling stock to enhance the efficient provision of long distance goods and passenger traffic services in order to contribute significantly to the country’s transport needs. We want salary arrears in this subsector to be a thing of the past.


Mr Chairperson, in the road subsector, the ministry will focus on reducing road traffic accidents and fatalities through enhancing and implementation of road safety and road traffic management programmes.


Mr Chairperson, in addition to the programmes outlined above, my ministry will continue to provide the following equally important services:


  1. office equipment and maintenance services through the provision of technical advice on the procurement, utilisation, maintenance, transfer and disposal of office equipment;
  2. pontoon services countrywide to ease the movement of people, goods and services; and
  3. printing services and management of government vehicles.


Mr Chairperson, the above outlined programmes are the ministry’s priority programmes for 2022 and are aligned to the speech to the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, the Budget Speech, and the aspirations of the New Dawn Administration of creating a united, prosperous and equitable Zambia, restoring economic growth and safeguarding livelihoods, as well as having a balanced and integrated transport infrastructure developmental agenda.


Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, I appeal to this august House to favourably consider the 2022 proposed budget for the Ministry of Transport and Logistics.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Transport and Logistics.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to begin with looking at the importance of this sector in our economy. Indeed, transport and logistics are what drive the economy by moving goods from one place to the other, including exports and imports, which are activities in the economy. Therefore, that sector is very important. Efficiency in the sector is guaranteed by an efficient transportation system, be it the public sector or the private sector.


Mr Chairperson, we need some rules in the sector, especially around tracking. Since the hon. Minister is new in that ministry, he will care to check, but I am aware that there have been a number of Statutory Instruments (SIs) that were released a few years passed, that put restrictions in our transport sector to advantage our local transporters and those who have invested in this sector in as far as tracking is concerned. However, we still see that the enforcement of such SIs is not to the point. Foreign trucks still move goods from within the country and take them outside the country, which is not supposed to be the case. This is supposed to be a prerogative of the local transporters. Therefore, I implore the hon. Minister to ensure that there is strict enforcement of such SIs. The laws are very clear and they already exist. I have never heard of such SIs being repealed. Therefore, if they exist, enforcement needs to be put in place.


Mr Chairperson, let me move away from transportation by road and talk about the railway sector. In the railway sector, I am thinking about the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) since the hon. Minister mentioned it in his policy statement. We know the history of TAZARA and the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL). We know the case of ZRL and the US$20 million, if I am not mistaken, from the Eurobond that was appropriated to help ZRL be recapitalised. This money never achieved anything. If you want to rate how our hon. Colleagues performed in as far as that sector is concerned, look at that amount of money which was allocated from the Eurobond. We have had glaring issues raised by the Auditor-General. If you want to find out more, check the past Auditor-General’s reports.


Mr Chairperson, many issues were raised on how that money was utilised. This should never be tolerated in the New Dawn Government. We need to utilise resources appropriately for the benefit of the people. ZRL is still struggling and the railway line is still not well-rehabilitated. Locomotives cannot appropriately run on that railway at the speed that is required. A locomotive takes several days to move goods from one point to another and this must be attended to.


Mr Chairperson, we have SIs which are trying to ensure that companies like the cement companies transport their goods using the ZRL or TAZARA. However, it is difficult for companies to do so because it takes several days to transport goods using the railway line. So, even if there are laws to try and boost TAZARA and ZRL to perform, the companies themselves do not have capacity. The railway line is such that the speed is limited, so, locomotives cannot transport goods in a faster way and we need to attend to that.


Mr Chairperson, let me come to the road sector, especially public transport. I remember we had a SI which suggested the use of special seatbelts and the gadgets the hon. Minister talked about to monitor the safety of public transport vehicles so that travellers are safe. There were several accidents and we thank the previous Government for instituting a rule that public transport should not carry passengers in the night. There is a limit, and that should continue. However, the enforcement of speed limits, including the monitoring of the movements of public service vehicles, should be enhanced. Let that be quickened.


Mr Chairperson, I appreciate the fact that the President came here and made a pronouncement that public service vehicle drivers will now renew their licences after five years. That is a positive declaration in the right direction. Drivers are now very happy with this Government because they will not be renewing licences every three years like it used to be, or annually, in fact. The drivers now have a breather. However, we need to ensure that those drivers who have licences are also tested. The Government should find a mechanism to ensure that there is competency in that area so that people are –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.






Mr Kambita: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I intended to talk a little bit about public service vehicle drivers and their behaviour, especially on local routes in big towns. However, I feel duty bound to conclude by stating something on what the hon. Minister alluded to in terms of re-capitalising the railway sector.


Mr Chairperson, we still have a big problem. We expect re-capitalisation, and meaningful re-capitalisation in that sector will only be through attracting equity partners. I am aware that discussions have been going on, especially about the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), where a Council of Ministers sat. Our colleagues in Tanzania have been meeting their obligations whilst on the Zambian side, we have been struggling to meet our obligations, and there are no two ways about it, we just have to get an equity partner in this sector.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to comment on the proposal by the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics. This is a ministry in which I served. Therefore, note my interest as well.


Mr Chairperson, I take note of the hon. Minister’s policy statement which highlighted a number of important things that his Ministry has achieved. I heard him talk about the improved Presidential pavilion, the tower and the terminals here in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt as well as Livingstone, if it was added. That is a demonstration of the effort that his predecessors put into that ministry and into the infrastructure, which is great.


Mr Chairperson, in commenting on the hon. Minister’s proposal, let me indicate that the importance of his ministry cannot be over emphasised because it is literally a catalyst for development; his ministry catalyses economic activity in the country. However, the importance of the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics should also not be under played because he directs policy in the ministry. So, while he considers the importance of his ministry, he should also take time to consider his own importance as the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics.


Mr Chairperson, let me just be more clear that what the hon. Minister says, whether on television or to members of staff, cannot not be as important as what the President says because him and all other hon. Ministers serve the President, as the President serves the people of Zambia.


So, I remind him that the President made some promises in this sector. One of the most vivid promises that the President made in this sector was to sell the President’s jet. As the hon. Minister knows, the President’s jet is a form of transport; transporting Very Very Important Persons (VVIPs) from one airport to another whether within the country or outside of the country. Now, the hon. Minister, as advisor number one to the President when it comes to transport matters, I advise him on the Floor of the House to impress upon the President to ensure that the jet is sold, as promised. If the President does not sell the jet, this promise will just be like the K50 mealie meal promise, the fertiliser promise of K250 and the coming down of the dollar, when the dollar has kept going up.


Mr Chairperson, the sale of the President’s jet is a simple promise, it should be delivered by selling the jet, and the hon. Minister in the transport sector will say, for him, as an advisor to President Hakainde Hichilema in this sector, they have delivered. He will be different from the other hon. Ministers who are concerned with mealie meal, for example, because, obviously, mealie meal is at K135 and everyone knows that; and obviously, the dollar is now going up, as opposed to the promise.


Mr Chairperson, let me now turn to the other issue because I intended to raise just two issues. The other issue is, when I looked at the Yellow Book and the cluster outcomes, I thought that these outcomes were too much for the proposed amount. I also think that the hon. Minister has taken on responsibilities in these cluster outcomes, which, necessarily, he should not have taken up. For example, Cluster Outcome 01–An Industrialised Economy: Immediate Outcome–05–Skilled Personnel for Primary Production and Manufacturing. I think this should not be highlighted here, it should find its place elsewhere, maybe, in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


Mr Chairperson, the other one is Cluster Outcome 02–A Diversified Economy: Immediate Outcome–01–A productive and competitive agriculture sector. This has been classified under transport and logistics. I think that this should go to the Ministry of Agriculture.


Mr Chairperson, however, one outcome, which I think is appropriate, which was included, is Cluster Outcome 04 – A Competitive Private Sector: Immediate Outcome – 02 – Modernised, integrated and commercialised transport sector. I think this is appropriate. This can be drawn from the National Transport Master Plan (NTMP), the transport policies that are available and from the Strategic Plan, which is already sitting in the ministry and considered a period beyond three years. So, he has the benefit of looking at it.


Ms Kasune: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, the ministry should begin to promote –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


A point of order is raised.


Ms Kasune: Mr Chairperson, thank you, and I apologise to the hon. Member who is debating.


Mr Chairperson, according to Standing Orders 206, Members are supposed to dress up formerly and not come in party regalia. It is a serious observation that Hon. Kafwaya has decided to come in the Patriotic Front (PF) regalia. Is he in order to come with a green jacket, a PF regalia?




Ms Kasune: I seek your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Although Mr Kafwaya is dressed in green, it does not look like party regalia. However, as Members, let us desist from wearing something that…




The Deputy Chairperson: … is in that regard, I submit.


May the hon. Member of Parliament continue.


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, I do not know when green was expunged …




Mr Kafwaya: … from being part of the colours to be worn around. However, I thank you and appreciate the fact that the hon. Member decided to apologise for disturbing my flow of thought. Actually, she has made me remember some things which I would have forgotten.


Mr Chairperson, I was just trying to indicate how important this ministry is, and also how important the hon. Minister is as the person at the apex of this ministry.


Sir, the Controller of Government Transport, which has been brought under his ministry is also something I can comment about because I was Minister of Works and Supply before I was transferred to the ministry responsible for transport.


Sir, that component of the job should be looked at critically because a lot of resources cannot be wasted via misapplication of motor vehicles that are actually supposed to be designated for proper public use by public workers.


Mr Chairperson, it is my submission to the hon. Minister that he pays a critical eye on the Controller of Government Transport so that all the motor vehicles are applied for the sole purpose of serving the Zambian people as opposed to applying them for the purposes of serving individual public workers, especially hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries (PSs). So, clearly, with those very few remarks, I wish to submit.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to make a few comments on the estimates towards the Ministry of Transport and Logistics. I just want to touch on two issues.


Sir, let me start by stating from the outset that I support the budgetary estimations for the ministry. My comments are regards the aviation industry.


Mr Chairperson, I take note of the milestones that have been made in the aviation industry namely; the upgrade of three International Airports namely; the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport as well as the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport.


Mr Chairperson, I think we all do agree that this infrastructure has given a face lift to Zambia and I think that we have been given a head start in regard to the growth of the aviation industry. Therefore, these infrastructures must be supported.


Now, it could have been a miss if we had this beautiful infrastructure without us having a national airline. So, I want to take this opportunity to commend the hon. Minister for taking that initiative to launch the Zambia Airways flights.


Madam Speaker, what we are talking about cannot be fully achieved, or we cannot get meaningful results from here if we do not a have a fully functional National Airports Corporation. I know that there is an impending issue which the hon. Minister is fully aware of.


Currently, this department is having an acting leader or man in charge. There is an excellent man that used to be in charge of the Zambia National Airports Corporation who is out of the job after having his contract terminated. It is a matter that I wish to bring to the hon. Minister because I think that the gentleman who was heading this institution is non-political, and I want to appeal to the hon. Minister’s conscious that he re-looks at his plight and make sure that this …




Mr B. Mpundu: Let me continue. I am bringing this to the attention of the hon. Minister because these are matters obviously affect our performance in the industry.


Mr Chairperson, a few days ago, the hon. Minister launched the first flight operation and I am sure he has read the public comments. People are skeptical about the designs of the Zambia Airways starting from the ulterior, logos as well as the interior. Hon. Members may wish to note that for this industry, design is of essence, and if the public has expressed misgivings over the designs, it is important that we pay attention.


I also agreed with some of the comments when I looked at the attire of the cabin crew. Indeed, I agreed that they looked very inferior, but that is inconsequential to what we desire to have because, now, we have an opportunity that many Zambians can fly in between towns. Therefore, I want to make an appeal to the hon. Minister to please make the airfares reasonable so that we can afford an opportunity to people to fly in different directions. I think that this will in turn promote local tourism because if I intend to go to Mfuwe, I must quickly jump on a plane and I am in Mfuwe without wasting time. However, this will, again, spur competition.


Sir, we are already told from reports that competitors are already in the process of procuring a jet engine. This, obviously, is because they have seen that now there is competition and means that all the clients they had will obviously run to the Zambia Airways. So, that alone, I wish to commend the hon. Minister and ask him to please take note of the concerns that are coming from the public.


Mr Chairperson, other issue I wanted to comment on, obviously, is the railway sector. Now, many of the problems that we bring to this House regard the poor state of road infrastructure.


Sir, we all know that for as long as we do not address that issue of the railway sector, we will continue to grapple with the issue of dilapidated road infrastructure. It is, therefore, our desire that much of the cargo that moves on the road can now be moved on rail. However, as it is now, the state of the infrastructure is so bad that nobody desires to have their cargo move on the rail. I think the hon. Minister will have an opportunity with his counterpart to score in this regard.


Mr Chairperson, we have made many pronouncements in the past of viable partners that have come on board. I do recall that at some point, there was a partnership that was signed between the Zambia Railways Limited and its South African counterpart where we were told that some wagons were going to come in. I do not know the fate of that story we were told and how far that issue has gone.


Sir, secondly, we were told that some Chinese would be coming in to revamp the rail sector to make it more viable. So, the stories that we keep hearing will at some time require a ministerial statement that corrects the facts because, many times, we have let the public speculate over these very important national matters.


Sir, there is an issue that has been pending for many years. This is the North Western Railway. We know that the former Vice-President has been championing that issue for a very time and what he has lacked over the years is support from the Government. I think the idea is excellent if we desire to have the cargo that moves from the North-Western be moved on the rail. I think that that man requires support from the Government. I would like to appeal to the conscience of the hon. Minister to join hands with Mr Kavindele to ensure that the North-Western Railway is actualised. I think that is not too much to ask.


Mr Chairperson, I stand here to support the hon. Minister and his ministry as regards improving these two very important sectors. As for me, I support the budgetary estimation for the ministry.


I thank your Mr Chairperson.


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Mr Chairperson, thank you for granting me this opportunity to debate and support the budget on transport and logistics. I commend the budget, specifically on transport. It is very gratifying to hear that the plans to revive the railway industry are there.


Mr Chairperson, I would also like to make some comments on the mandate of the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA). I think the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics will agree with me that when you enter the Central Business District (CBD), it is very difficult to see where a designated bus station is because we have inherited a situation where bus drivers still park their buses anywhere. While the issue of cadres is slowly coming down, we still have that problem. I think it is something that the hon. Minster must look at.


Mr Chairperson, we also have a situation where some of these buses are actually not road worthy. We wonder how they are issued with road worthy certificates by the RTSA. There is a need to intensify audits on whether the RTSA is really following their laid down procedures on ensuring that we only have road worthy vehicles on the road. Seeing that through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, we no longer have roadblocks, RTSA’s budget seems to indicate that it needs to increase, going forward, because the agency has a mandate now to ensure that there is compliance by motorists on having the required documentation that proves that their vehicles are road worthy and that they are qualified to drive.


Mr Chairperson, the second issue I would like to bring to the attention on the hon. Minister is that perhaps the Controller of Government Transport in the ministry also needs to be more audited in terms of the functions. In the previous general election, we saw many Government vehicles rebranded and being used during campaigns. So, I think the time has come for the hon. Minister to advise this House whether the ministry has stock of how many vehicles the Government has or not. I do not think that has ever been brought in public domain. Furthermore, what measures is the ministry going to put in place to reduce political abuse of Government vehicles because we see this by successive Governments and it has always been a rhetorical promise that the party will be separated from the Government. However, we would like to see this commitment through measures that can be disclosed.


Mr Chairperson, in a nutshell, I submit that the budget for the ministry seems to be reasonable.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Tayali: Mr Chairperson, may I take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members who have debate the Transport and Logistics Head. Hon. Kambita, the Zambezi East lawmaker brings out very pertinent issues regarding the importance of my ministry in terms of driving the economy through its inherent role of providing movement of goods and services and people. Another pertinent issue raised by the hon. Member is on the state of the railway subsector involving TAZARA as well as the Zambia Railways Limited. He also made reference to previous attempts to try and revitalise these particular railway companies with the injection of perhaps US$120 million in the past.


Mr Chairperson, I wish to concur with the hon. Member and also state that TAZARA, for instance, is forty-six years old. Therefore, the state of infrastructure, particularly the locomotives and wagons, is in a serious state of disrepair and needs urgent recapitalisation by way of attracting meaningful equity investment and partnership in that particular company. The case of Zambia Railways Limited is even much grimmer because, as you may be aware, the infrastructure in Zambia Railways Limited, particularly, the track is 115 years old and has literally outlived its usefulness and needs an almost complete overhaul.


Mr Chairperson, my ministry has been engaging with various interested parties globally who are looking to investing in the Zambia Railways Limited rehabilitation and modernisation. This Government is being very careful to analyse what sort of arrangement we must go into where we shall ensure that not only will we improve the speed of the locomotives to enhance efficiency in order to make the company competitive, but we must also ensure that we shall obviously take on an entity that will truly modernise this particular sector to ensure that we can be as competitive as we possibly can. So, those views are taken into consideration.


Mr Chairperson, Hon. Kafwaya, law maker for Lunte, has also spoken about obviously, the need to appreciate my ministry as a very important ministry in so far as its catalysing the economic activities of this country are concerned. He also tries to raise an issue that being Minister in charge of transport and logistics, I need to impress upon His Excellency the President to fulfil his campaign promise to get rid of the gulfstream. To that, let me simply say that first of all, His Excellency is a man of his word and that truly he did mean it when he said during the campaigns that he would like to dispose of that particular presidential transport equipment. However, obviously, it is not as simple as meets the eye. There are many issues surrounding that piece of equipment on how it was procured and whether or not there were genuine factors put into consideration with all the proposed enhancements that have been made on that particular plane. Suffice to say also that the plane is under the Zambia Air Force (ZAF). It is therefore, beyond my mandate as Minister in charge of transport and logistics, which ministry would not oversee –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Mr Tayali: Mr Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who debated and supported this particular Vote.


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Vote 51/2115 – (Air, Road, Railway and Maritime Transport Department –K390,311,661)


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Chairperson, I clearly heard the hon. Minister in his policy statement making an undertaking that he will ensure that TAZARA is rehabilitated and that arrears owed to the workers will be cleared. If I draw the attention of the House to Programme 2115 on page 493 of the Yellow Book, you will see that in the last Budget, K15 million was allocated. This year, the Government is proposing to allocate K17,250,000. With this minor increment, how does the hon. Minister hope to achieve the commitments made in the policy statement?


Mr Tayali: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much. The hon. Member has asked a very pertinent question. Let me say that as with many programmes, I think that most desires of the Government shall be constrained due to the limited fiscal space. However, we are looking beyond just the Government coffers, to see whether or not we are able to attract other forms of funding which will enable us to achieve some of the issues that the hon. Member has brought up.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Chairperson, on the same programme, the hon. Minister has stated that the Government is looking for any other source of funding that should be able to help. However, the law is very clear; any funding whether by loan or what, as long as it will be extended in the Republic of Zambia must be part of the Budget so that it is approved by this august House. How then is the Government going to look for any other source funding to carry out this programme, which this House has not approved? I need a comment on that and how the hon. Minister intends to spend the money that has not been approved by this House.


Mr Tayali: Mr Chairperson, obviously, the hon. Members on your left are behaving as though they were never in Government before. The Government is expected to get a loan while Government funding is happening. This is permissible.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, firstly, I want to appeal to my dear hon. Colleague, the hon. Minister that this business we are conducting in this august House is a very serious undertaking. When we are posing questions, we just need clarifications. That is all. The hon. Minister is now in charge. He does not have to point at us. We simply want to get an explanation from the hon. Minister because he has got technocrats with him. That is why they come here in this House to help the hon. Ministers during this very important meeting.


Mr Chairperson, I have seen that the hon. Minister has allocated something to the Civil Aviation Industry. Looking at what the Government has inherited in terms of success in the aviation industry, would the hon. Minister not allocate more resources to focus on the railway sector because, at least, he knows where to start from in terms of the aviation industry? Would he not consider reallocating some of the resources he has taken to the aviation industry to the railway sector?


Mr Tayali: Mr Chairperson, firstly, let me say that I am sure that the hon. Member will agree with me that there are various provisions that can be used to close up some deficits. A Supplementary Budget is one of the avenues which we can use to close up some of these deficits. However, over and above, I think the aviation sub-sector that the he referred to is at a state where we are almost at a 100 per cent completion. There is no need to keep that infrastructure in that particular state. We should rather get over and done with infrastructure that is nearly done. The railway sub-sector shall require some significant attention to that regard.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Sefulo: Mr Chairperson, the question that I wanted to pose has been overtaken by events.


Mr Chitotela rose.


The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Chitotela, you only stand when I call on you.


Mr Chitotela: I am standing to indicate.


The Deputy Chairperson: You can still indicate while seated. You only stand when I tell you to stand.


Hon. Member: Maybe, banagulisa tablet.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Chairperson, this is not politics. We are dealing with the National Budget that anchors on the lives of the Zambian people. So, when we ask questions – We shall enact the law at the end of the Budget Session. When the hon. Minister of Finance and National Panning brought the Budget, he even included how much is expected to come as loans. That is why the Vote on Loans and Investments is coming. For the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics to answer my genuine question by stating that we are behaving as though we have never been in Government, that is why we are bringing these matters to his attention because we have been in Government and we know how the Government operates.


Hon. Member: What is your question?


Mr Chitotela: I am looking for the Chairperson who is asking what my question is.


Mr Chairperson, I thought you are the only one who can ask me to pose a question.


Hon. Member: Sit down now.


Mr Chitotela: That is the problem with our greenhorns.


The Deputy Chairperson: Your question or your comment?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Chairperson, no, I have not asked a question, but I can hear a lot of running comments. I need your protection.


The Deputy Chairperson: You can go ahead.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Chairperson, I thank you, with the minor increase of K17 million from K15 million and bearing in mind the hon. Minister’s policy statement, maybe he has forgotten, I want to remind him that on page 493, Programme 04. In his response, the hon. Minister stated that he will consider a loan from the co-operating partners. Now, my question is: any money expended in the Republic of Zambia must be approved by this Parliament after an Appropriation Bill. Where will that loan come from to carry out his ambitious programme which has not been approved by this august House? That is the question.


The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Chitotela, I thought this question was asked and answered.


Mr Chitotela: No, he did not answer. He just said that we are behaving as though we have not been in the Government. My question is how will this money be spent when it has not been appropriated by this august House and who are the co-operating partners the Government will borrow money from are? We need to know, the Zambian people need to know.


The Deputy Chairperson: Alright, you can take your seat, but I heard the hon. Minister answer. Let us proceed.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Vote 51 ordered to stand part of the Estimates,


VOTE 54 – (Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development – K619,815,845).


The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development for the financial year, January to December, 2022.


Mr Chairperson, the Government Gazette Notice No. 1123 assigns the following portfolio functions to my ministry:


  1. Architecture;
  2. Building and Construction Industry Policy;
  3. Government Housing Policy;
  4. Insurance of Government Property;
  5. Maintenance Policy;
  6. National Housing Policy;
  7. Office Accommodation and Maintenance Services;
  8. Public Asset Management Policy;
  9. Public Infrastructure Development;
  10. Quantity Survey;
  11. Urban Development Policy; and
  12. Valuation of Government Property.


Mr Chairperson, my ministry intends to execute its mandate as outlined above and in line with the policy directives issued by His Excellency, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia, during the Official Opening of this Session of the National Assembly. Priority programmes in the 2022 Budget are in line with policy imperatives of the New Dawn Government and aim at bringing sanity in the construction and infrastructure development sector.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to provide brief highlights on current Budget performance and execution of the 2021 Budget. In 2021, the ministry had an approved allocation of K212.9 million out of which, K25.7 million was for personal emoluments. K15 million was for recurrent departmental charges and K46.5 million was for infrastructure development. A total of K125.7 was allocated towards operational grants for grant-aided institutions under the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, the key areas supported by the 2021 Budget included:


  1.  Policy formulation;
  2. Review of key legal and regulatory frameworks;
  3. Continued construction of public infrastructure; and
  4. Administration of the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, in the area of policy and legislative reforms, the ministry put in place regulations for the efficient collection of toll fees at inland toll stations and on the Kazungula Bridge. The ministry embarked on stakeholder sensitisation on the new National Council for Construction Act No. 10 of 2020. Amendments to the Engineering Institution of Zambia Act No. 18 of 2021 were also undertaken.


Mr Chairperson, the ministry further embarked on the review of the Public Roads Act No. 12 of 2002 and on the National Housing Construction Act of 1971. The ministry undertook provincial dissemination of the National Housing Policy and embarked on the development of the National Infrastructure Development Policy.


Mr Chairperson, in the area of public infrastructure development, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), continued with various road infrastructure projects despite the challenging fiscal position of the Government. The ministry also continued with the construction of other public infrastructure prioritising infrastructure at 80 per cent and above.


Mr Chairperson, I now present an overview of the 2022 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development. For 2022, the ministry has a Budget allocation of K619.8 million, a significant increase of the 2021 Budget allocation. This is a sign of the seriousness attached to infrastructure development by the New Dawn Government. Of this allocation, K52.1 million is for personal emoluments, K80.4 million is for recurrent departmental charges, K278.7 million is for infrastructure development, K64.1 million is for maintenance of public building infrastructure, and K144.5 million is for operational grants to grant-aided institutions under the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, priority programmes to be implemented in 2022 include the completion of ongoing projects that are nearing completion in order to facilitate access to public services by our people. My ministry will also give priority to dismantling of outstanding arrears on capital projects being undertaken by the ministry. This will help contractors continue with works and help them complete some of the works that are nearing completion.


Mr Chairperson, to address the housing deficit in the country, my ministry will continue with the construction of housing units under the Housing Department. My ministry will implement a programme to construct homes for our elderly citizens and other vulnerable groups. In order to increases access to decent housing and social amenities, my ministry will implement programmes to upgrade informal settlements in the country.


Mr Chairperson, to increase the lifespan of public infrastructure, my ministry will prioritise rehabilitation and maintenance. My ministry will further support the implementation of horticulture and landscaping services around public buildings to promote the green environment and restore the natural beauty.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Eng. Milupi: Mr Chairperson, with regard to property management and valuation services, my ministry will strengthen the establishment of fixed asset registers of Government assets and their value, which is critical given the increased stock of Government assets over the years. My ministry will further continue to assist preparation of valuation roles for the local government authorities to support their revenue generation capacity. In the area of road infrastructure development, improving road infrastructure will remain key to the Government development agenda in order to support economic growth and productivity.


Mr Chairperson, in 2022, my ministry will prioritise maintenance of existing road infrastructure as opposed to construction. My ministry will also priorities debt dismantling in the road sector. Road sector development using the public-private partnerships will also be given the deserving priority.


Mr Chairperson, in the area of legislative reform, I intend to bring legislation for the consideration of this august House. Among the legislation I intend to bring to the House in 2022, are the amendments to the Public Roads Act and the National Housing Authority Act as well as a new legislation to create the Kazungula Bridge Authority to manage the bridge and the border facilities.


Sir, my ministry will continue to adhere to provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, and the Public Procurement Act among other legal frameworks aimed at improving efficiency and the economy in the application of public funds. To this effect, and in line with the Presidential directive, my ministry will put in place stringent measures for improved financial management and utilisation of public funds appropriated to the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, in 2022, my ministry will strengthen collaboration with other line ministries in order to ensure integrated infrastructure planning and implementation in order to maximise utilisation of  available resource, including technical staff.


Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, let me sure this House that my ministry will implement to the fullest, the Presidential directive that works must be procured at the correct price, executed to prescribed quality and in a timely manner.


I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson mispronounced Mr Kangombe’s name.


Mr Kangombe (Sesheke Central): Mr Chairperson, Kangombe, a villager from Sesheke.


Mr Chairperson, thanks a lot to the hon. Minister for that very wonderful statement.


Mr Chairperson, time and again, even in the past regime, the good and humble people of Sesheke cried over a very important and economic road, which unfortunately was so highly politicised. It is my humble appeal on behalf of the people of Sesheke, Mwandi, Mulobezi, Kazungula and the nation at large that the Sesheke/Kazungula Road be prioritised. The reason is very simple: it is an economical road. That road connects this country to Europe through TransNamib. We have many consignments that come via the Katima Mulilo Border. Trucks pay toll road fees and goods pay duty. However, when you look at the status of the road – I am happy that the hon. Minister took time to visit Sesheke and have first-hand information on how bad the state of the road is. It is my humble appeal that the New Dawn Administration will prioritise not just the Sesheke/Kazungula Road, but even other roads that are of economic value. 


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister may wish to note that since 1964, certain parts of this country are completely cut off from the rest of the country. In particular, I am talking about Imusho. For you to access Imusho, you have to go via Namibia, a situation, which at the present time, the people of Imusho are completely cut off because they cannot use the Namibia route anymore because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) pandemic. Now, you can imagine, you have your own people, who since independence cannot access Yeta District Hospital in Sesheke, which is the main hospital, because they do not have a road network. It’s my humble appeal that the Hon. Minister critically looks at the Imusho/Sesheke Road. That road was partially done by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) regime and about 10 km stretch was done out of 123 km.


Mr Chairperson, the Western Province in particular, there is the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road, a road that has never been worked on since independence. On behalf of the people of Mangango, Mitete, Lukulu, Zambezi, and even part of Kasempa, it is my view and my humble appeal to the hon. Minister, as the one in charge, together with the New Dawn Administration, to consider working on that road.


Mr Chairperson, the road connecting the M10 Road to Luampa and the Mulobezi/Simungoma Road, the Machile/Mulobezi/Luampa Road has never seen not even a speck of gravel. It is my considered view and humble appeal that the hon. Minister critically looks at that road as well.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kangombe: Mr Chairperson, the Mongu/Lusaka Road, especially from Katunda up to Nkeyema, including the Kafue Bridge, is a sorry site. Any road that connects the Western Province to the rest of the provinces is completely cut off. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kangombe: Mr Chairperson, the road from Mongu to Limulunga, where the Litunga, the King of the Barotseland hails from…


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Sefulo: Hammer, Hammer!


Mr Kangombe: …is in a completely bad state.


Mr Chairperson, the small stretch from the M10, Sesheke/Livingstone, to the Royal Palace for His Royal Highness Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta, is in a bad state. In the previous regime, our people would say maybe it is because you are in the Opposition, but now we are in power, what are going to tell them?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kangombe: We voted for this victory, but cannot get the fair share that they were denied in the past?


Mr Chairperson, Singongo …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kangombe: … is completely cut off. It is our view and humble appeal on behalf of the people of Zambia and the people of the Western Province that the hon. Minister critically looks into these matters.


I thank, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr J. Daka (Chadiza): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving an opportunity to the people of Chadiza to make a very important contribution to this part of the Budget. In the first instance, let me expressly state that I support the budget. However, I want to make the following important comments.


Mr Chairperson, in the whole of the Eastern Province, Chadiza and Vubwi are the only districts that are not connected by a bituminous road, yet these two districts are quite important to this country.


Mr Chairperson, you might be aware that Chadiza and Vubwi are endowed with very rich minerals deposits such as gold.


Mr Chairperson, taxes are collected at Chanida Border Post in Chadiza District. Chanida Border Post links Zambia to Mozambique. The Port of Beira is the nearest port used to transport goods and services to the Eastern Province and is located in Mozambique, and Chanida Border Post links Zambia to the Port of Beira. However, the infrastructure through which goods and services are delivered is a sorry sight. As I have alluded to, in the entire province, the road infrastructure in Chadiza is in a bad state.


Mr Chairperson, I give a lot of respect to the senior engineer, the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, being one of our seniors in our profession. The people of Chadiza turned up in large numbers and voted for the Government in power strongly because of the state of the road infrastructure network. Just like our colleagues in Chama, we have been neglected for a long time. I do not know what the people of Chadiza are taken for. It is quite confusing how the entire province or district was the only place left behind in terms of road infrastructure development. We do not expect any meaningful development to be undertaken in that district if road infrastructure development is not dealt with.


Mr Chairperson, can the Chadiza/Chanida Road which leads to the nearest port in Beira this time around be attended to. I know that Chadiza lies on a golden triangle in as far as trade is concerned. Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique are in that golden triangle and goods and services from Malawi have to pass through Katete in order to access the Chanida Border Post, yet passing through Chadiza is the short cut. However, I wonder how people decided to work on a longer route which passes through Katete and left Chadiza like an island.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister should look at the people of Chadiza with a kind heart this time around. They are also human beings. They cannot be left in that state when Governments that have been ushered into authority starting from the United National Independence Party (UNIP) have nothing to write home about.


Mr Chairperson, I am also happy that the hon. Minister has proposed changes in the legal framework in as far as road infrastructure is concerned, specifically on the Public Roads Act. As he brings those changes in the legal framework, especially on the Public Roads Act, he should take into account the disturbance which other service providers bring about to our road infrastructure. A road is properly constructed with the required specifications and standards but someone passes a cable which is far less expensive as compared to the road constructed, causing a lot of damage. A failure starts on a localised area and the moment that area is weakened through a cable that would have passed there, that is the beginning of a problem to the road infrastructure. So, that should be taken into account as we come up with changes to the Public Roads Act.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the dismantling of debt in the road sector. I appeal to the hon. Minister to first consider dismantling the debt to the local constructors because this group of people turned out in large numbers to support the Government. They were not getting paid and that is how this debt accumulated and they thought by ushering the new Government into power, it would attend to it.


Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Minister comes up with the debt dismantling strategy, he should ensure that the Zambians are first considered. This is our country. Where are we going to run to? Further, as the hon. Minister comes up with the debt dismantling strategy, he should also look at the welfare of consultants. This is one of the most important groups of experts in this sector, yet they are neglected. People think that for a road to be constructed, it only takes a contractor, but a consultant is actually the main player in the sector. For a road to be constructed to the required specifications and standards –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mandandi (Sioma): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to state that the people of Sioma support the Vote on the Floor to do with infrastructure.


Mr Chairperson, the people of Sioma have been neglected for far too long. You may wish to note that the Sioma/Shangombo Road has been under construction for over ten years. This is one of the roads which I believe the Government should prioritise as it puts up road infrastructure in the areas that were neglected by the Patriotic Front (PF). One of the hymns that we sing at the New Apostolic Church says saviour do not pass us by. So, even in this situation, the Government should not pass us by, as it does what is needful for the people of Zambia.


Mr Chairperson, the people who have live in Sinjembela and Lipaneno, which are agriculture zones, have the potential to do better. However, because of a lack of road connectivity, those places have remained untapped. Further, a gravel road that links Nangweshi to Sinjembela has been under construction for over seven or eight years. However, during one of the meetings that we held in Sioma, the Government promised the people of Sioma that once in power, the Sioma/Shangombo Road and Nangweshi/Sinjembela Road would be worked on. The Nangweshi/Sinjembela Road in its current design does not benefit the people because it passes in an area that is inhabited. We proposed that as considerations are put up, this road be redesigned so that it passes through Liwandamo, Lipaneno and then Sinjembela.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much. Allow me to make comments on this very important ministry.


Mr Chairperson, allow me to start by raising the issue of the upgrading of unplanned settlements in Zambia. I am happy that in his policy statement, the hon. Minister referred to intentions by his ministry to upgrade unplanned settlements. However, the amount of money that has been allocated to that programme on page 545 is not sufficient for the many unplanned settlements that we have in Zambia. He is familiar with the number of unplanned settlements in Lusaka. He is also familiar with the many unplanned settlements in Ndola. If his ministry was to do a survey today with support from officers from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at all the respective councils, he would agree with me that the unplanned settlements are too many, which basically shows that there is a desire by our people to settle into the urban setup of our country and earn a living due to urbanisation.


Mr Chairperson, I know that the hon. Minister has allocated money for social housing development and he has also allocated money towards unplanned settlements. However, the programme for unplanned settlements is not very clear. How does he intend to use the K19 million that is sitting on page 545? So, it will be necessary as he responds today or any other day to provide details on how we will utilise the K19 million. In Kitwe alone, there are twenty-six unplanned settlements. I think the last time we did a technical report for Kitwe alone, we looked at the upgrading of the twenty-six unplanned settlements at a cost of about US$50 million. This includes water, roads, housing infrastructure and basically everything that forms part of a settlement that has been improved.


Sir, my proposal to the hon. Minister, therefore, is that we need to have all the details that we require for the total number of unplanned settlements across Zambia and then he should give targets for how many he will be able to attend to in each year, moving forward. It may be a long-term plan; it maybe a ten-year plan, but the idea is that we need a plan. The way we normally do annual work plans under the Road Development Agency (RDA). We now need an annual work plan for the upgrading unplanned settlements.


Mr Chairperson, secondly, the hon. Minister talked about plans to ensure that the pricing for infrastructure is affordable. In his ministry, he has procurement specialists and accountants who are specialists. It will be important that a technical report is done so that as he undertakes these works moving forward, we do not compromise on quality. I know there is a desire to reduce the cost of constructing roads; I know there is a desire to reduce the cost of housing, but technically speaking, we have companies that bid for these works. So, next year, the hon. Minister is going to want to procure works for housing, for instance; there will be works that the Government will want to procure for roads; and tenders will be floated. People who are registered and experienced in this sector will come, and they will bring prices. The hon. Minister does not want to compromise on the quality of the works. I think it will be important that even as he pursues this very genuine objective, we do not compromise on the quality of roads that have to be worked on, and we do not compromise on the quality of housing infrastructure that we want to undertake. I have seen his programmes. These works have to be done to the required quality. I know very well that specialists can sit. He can summon all these experts and give them a week or two weeks to just try and review the benchmarks for pricing and what would give us the right quality of roads. Come January, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will give him money for this public infrastructure. We do not want to compromise on quality.


Mr Chairperson, my proposal is that the hon. Minister should ask for a technical report on pricing and not rely on what someone will tell him because there is a new Government and someone tells him that he can actually construct a road at US$200,000 per kilometre. That is not practical from an engineering perspective; from the market forces perspective; and from what we desire as quality. I appeal to his office to have a technical report that will guide him on the prevailing benchmarks for very good public infrastructure. That is my proposal.


Mr Chairperson, thirdly, the hon. Minister talked about legislation that he wants to undertake or review, such as the Public Roads Act, and formalise the enactment of the Kazungula Authority. This is highly commendable because it shows that the infrastructure is there. What we need now is to operationalise the Kazungula Bridge operations. I have always said there are things that have been done extremely well. Sometimes, we lose nothing by coming on this Floor of the House and saying that our hon. Colleagues who were there before provided the foundation on which we are going to undertake future works. I think from 1964 to where we are today, each successive Government provided a foundation for the next Government. I think that the foundation that we have provided under the Kazungula Bridge will allow the hon. Minister to bring that piece of legislation. We want to support the hon. Minister with that agenda because we need to get money out of that very important infrastructure.


Mr Chairperson, lastly, I did not get the hon. Minister clearly on the ongoing roads projects. I know that his ministry is responsible for so many projects in Zambia. There is the Zambia Townships Road Project on the Copperbelt, the Copperbelt 400 Kilometre Project (C400 Km Project) which did not commence, and the Lusaka 400 Kilometre Project (L400 Km Project) Phase II which was ongoing. We did not get his policy guide on whether these projects will continue and whether he will rename them so that he gives them their own identity. We do not know that. However, the needs of our people will remain. I think it will be important as he responds to indicate the intentions of his Government on these projects that were not completed that our people still need. I think it will be necessary to do so.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Jay. E. Banda will be the last speaker on this Vote and then the hon. Minister will wind up the debate.


Mr Jay. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving this opportunity to the good people of Petauke Central Constituency.


Mr Chairperson, firstly, I want to state that I support the budget so that Mumbi Boarding Secondary School, which is under construction, should be completed. Also, the road in Chilimanyama Ward, Nyati to Simambumbu, should also be completed under this good budget.


Mr Chairperson, civil servants in Petauke are staying in houses which are in poor state. So, we are asking the ministry to improve the infrastructure.


I thank you, Sir.


Eng. Milupi: Mr Chairperson, I take this opportunity to thank the hon. Members who contributed to debate on this Vote. I also thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Pambashe for not contributing. I was expecting him to say something, but he has not.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, he was going to help the hon. Minister.




Eng. Milupi: Mr Chairperson, Hon. Kangombe of Sesheke made some very valid points regarding the Sesheke/Kazungula Road. Indeed, that is an international highway and it is in a poor state. We are working very hard to ensure that this road is done. We are discussing with potential investors and contractors to push it to a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).


Mr Chairperson, with regards to access to Imusho, and whilst I discuss Imusho, I can discuss the point raised by Hon. Mandandi about Shangombo and Sinjembela. These places have suffered greatly, especially during the liberation wars, particularly Imusho. We hear what is being said and we shall take those views into consideration.


Mr Chairperson, Hon. Kangombe also talked about the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road. Yes, we did promise, and we still promise. In fact, our view is to do the Katunda/Lukulu Road up to Watopa and a bridge on the Kabompo River and a 20 km road onto Mumbejhi so that we link the North-Western Province and the Western provinces.


Mr Chairperson, as for the Lusaka/Mongu Road, obviously, the sections he has mentioned are in a poor state and, indeed, there is some ongoing work on the Kafue Bridge to ensure that we complete that infrastructure. If we lost that, with the poor state of the Sesheke/Livingstone Road, it would mean that the whole of the Western Province is cut off.


Mr Chairperson, I thank Hon. Daka of Chadiza. I have a lot of respect for him. He is an engineer and a contractor as well. He talked about the Chadiza Road. I have been on that road several times and I have been to Vubwi as well. He is right, the road provides a short cut into the Mozambique border and so we take into account what he said.


Mr Chairperson, let me thank Hon. Kang’ombe from Kamfinsa for his contribution. Yes, the amount of money allocated for the upgrading of unplanned settlements is not enough. The reason is that we are constrained by the fiscal space that we have. However, the Chinese say, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I think this is an indication that this Government intends to ensure that we begin the process of upgrading our townships. In this regard, I think what was happening in the past; the issuing of plots by cadres and so on, really made this situation worse. He is from Kitwe, he would know about Saint Anthony Township and Kandabwe Township. Years ago, I remember we had completely almost dismantled Kandabwe Township, but if he goes there now, he would find that it is back in full bloom. So, we need to do these things.


Mr Chairperson, I also thank him for his comments on the Kazungula Bridge Authority. We are going to establish that so that we operationalise it. The hon. Member made some useful comments on the right course without compromising quality. This, indeed, is our number one policy and I keep referring to the three elements; right cost, right quality and timely delivery. If you adhere to this, there is no way you can compromise on quality. We are sure that will be done.


Mr Chairperson, let me thank Hon. Banda, Member of Parliament for Petauke for his comments. Indeed, some the things he talked about such as Mumbi Secondary School will be looked at, including the civil servants housing.


Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members for their support.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 54 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE – 89 (Ministry of Agriculture – K7,336,328,903).


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr R. Phiri): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to present the policy statement for the Ministry of Agriculture for the 2022 Budget. The Ministry of Agriculture derives its mandate from Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021. The ministry’s mandate includes: agriculture development, agriculture policy, agriculture extension and irrigation development to mention a few.


Mr Chairperson, this policy statement will first highlight the performance of the ministry in 2021 and then proceed to give the Estimates of Expenditure for 2022. In the 2020/2021 Agricultural Season, the production of most crops increased when compared to the previous agriculture season. There was considerable increase in the production of crops such as soya beans, rice and sweat potatoes. The production of maize increased by 7 per cent from 3,387,470 metric tonnes to 3.6 million metric tonnes. The increase in the production of crops other than maize is an indication of farmers adopting agriculture diversification.


Mr Chairperson, in 2021, the ministry continued to develop irrigation infrastructure in different parts of the country. Development of irrigation infrastructure such as Momboshi, Lusitu and Musakashi Irrigations Schemes continued and the dams are well over 90 per cent complete. These irrigation projects are expected to bring at least 5,000 ha of land under irrigation and benefit about 7,000 farmers. Other irrigation development projects such as the Chiansi Irrigation Scheme in Kafue and the Shikabeta Irrigation Scheme in Rufunsa are currently under construction. Irrigation infrastructure development is one way in which the Government is mitigating the negative effects of climate change as it ensures years round production by farmers.


Mr Chairperson, under the farmers that are under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), the Government has continued to support small holder farmers. I am happy to report that the distribution of inputs is ongoing. We have over 1,003,295 farmers who deposited their K400 contribution representing over 97.94 per cent of the targeted beneficiaries on the programme.


Mr Chairperson, we are happy to inform you and the nation that all beneficiaries in Zambia will get at least six bags of fertiliser and a 10kg bag of maize seed. Further, I am happy to inform the House and the nation at large that we also commenced the release of the supplementary packs to farmers.


Hon. Chairperson, with regard to the purchase of strategic foods reserves, I wish to report that in 2021, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) procured 944,053 metric tonnes of maize for the National Strategic Reserves. With a carryover stocks, this brings the total stock of maize held by the FRA to over 1.2 million metric tonnes.


Mr Chairperson, in 2021, the Government continued to support key agricultural services that support the growth of agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture produced several research products from its research institutes and continues to facilitate the export of seed to Southern and Eastern Africa. Further, the Government is also supporting value addition and recently completed the state of art cassava milling plant in Chitambo District.


Mr Chairperson, I wish to state that going forward, the Government shall focus on transforming programmes implemented under the ministry in order to make them more effective and efficient. Our policy priorities in 2022 will focus on the following:


  1. transformation of the farmer input support programme into the comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme which will target 1,024,434 beneficiaries. Further, the amount allocated to each farmer will be increased from K1,700 to K3,600 contribution from the Government;
  2. procure at least 200,000 metric tonnes of maize in 2022 for the Strategic Food Reserve to top up on the current stock levels;
  3. the Government will continue to open up the markets for exports of designated agriculture commodities and build export policy predictability, transparency and sustainability;
  4. the Government will continue to develop irrigation infrastructure and implement programmes that build the sectors resilience to climate change;
  5. the Government will also, most importantly, commence the opening up and development of farm blocks in the country;
  6. the ministry will also undertake legislative reforms in the sector to support its growth.


Mr Chairperson, I will now give a summary of the 2022 Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture has a budget provision of K7.3 billion. The agriculture development and productivity programme has been allocated K5.75 billion. While K1.05 billion is allocated to the management of the National Strategic Reserves.


Sir, for Management and Support Services, we have allocated K452.8 million. Further, the Agricultural Standards and Agri-Business Development Programmes have been allocated K17.9 million and K67.7 million respectively.


Hon Chairperson, allow me to highlight allocations to some key activities in the programmes I have just highlighted. The Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) has been allocated K5.37 billion. We have also allocated K960 million to the FRA for Strategic Maize Reserves. The support from cooperating partners is K311.5 million to support irrigation development, building resilience to climate change and market development. In addition, the ministry has allocated K61.5 million for provision of extension services to the farmers.


Hon. Chairperson, as I conclude, I wish to emphasise that the Government will continue with its transformation agenda and will focus on the areas that I have highlighted. Let me end by making an appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament to support my ministry’s Estimates of Expenditure in 2022 so that together, hon. Members, we can commence the journey to make agriculture great again to the heights where it was.


Hon. Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, I stand here to support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture but I want to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to particularly, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) which I have continued urging the Government to review in terms of the support that should be coming from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Now, the hon. Minister has rightly indicated that they have allocated K5.7 billion to FRA for the FISP and another K900 million towards the purchase of strategic reserves.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister will agree with me that all these monies are taxpayers’ money. If he looks at the entire operation, in as far as what the taxpayer benefits at the end of the day, the cost of mealie meal is unbearable. The cost of mealie meal is unacceptable simply because this equation does not respond to the expectations of the taxpayer.


 Sir, all the resources that are put in, even in terms of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) managing itself, is taxpayers’ money. Whether it is payment of suppliers or storage costs, it is taxpayers’ money. The payment of salaries which are far much better is taxpayers’ money.


 Mr Chairperson, the equation is not working. At the end of the day, we buy a bag of mealie meal at K180. Not too long from now, the New Dawn Government will be accused of failing to provide food prices that are low and one of them that will spark the biggest argument will be mealie meal. The issue of maize has always been a political crop.


Sir, I wanted the hon. Minister’s policy statement, if possible, to turn around the functions of the FRA considering the Government’s investment, especially in the milling sub-sector. The Government has companies that are now producing mealie meal, adding value to the maize. So we have this giant called FRA which has so much support from the Government, but that is not translating to the benefit of our people. Yes, the initial idea was for it to be a strategic reserve. However, we cannot hold onto why it was created that way up to now. We must be responding to challenges and opportunities.


Mr Chairperson, they went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and signed agreements that they are going to support close to 180,000 metric tonnes. They come back to Zambia and still sit back because legislation does not allow. We need to have a new sense of idea in the sector. The sector cannot just be predominantly driven by maize. No, there are so many crops that can bring value to our economy. Right now, we are depending on copper or mining. The Budget that the hon. Minister has just announced will highly depend on the revenues that will come from the mining sector.


 Sir, what is the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country? It is very low. However, it can turn around and contribute to our food prices being lower just like he has said. We have seen agriculture diversification taking place, where certain crops are now starting to do well, but we need to deal with the issue of FRA for it to become a contributor to some of these resources or revenues that can be used to support our economy.


Mr Chairperson, there are also other activities that FRA is particularly engaged in, for example, the construction of silos and so on and so forth. Another thing is the contracts around these infrastructure projects. I wish I was given an opportunity earlier to mention that there is need for us to re-look at how we have structured these contracts because they are starting to indebt the Government. It is only recently that I learnt that the documents for infrastructure projects such as the construction of silos and so on, have been prepared in such a way that information was gotten from the World Bank where contracts were put together so that ours are also credible. However, World Bank projects have money. We do not have money every day. We have competing needs which will require some months. We are not able to pay the roads on time. In some other months, we pay on time, but what is the point of having interest? What is the point of having a standalone time? What is the point of the Government continuing to pay for activities for non-performing contracts because the Government has not met its obligation?


 So, even as they start to dismantle debt under infrastructure because they are all interrelated, they will find that it will be difficult for any meaningful contribution to be invited in our economy, simply because it is clouded by all these costs that are in the contract and at the end of the day, the Government does not have enough money so it keeps on accumulating more and more debt.


Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, my main emphasis is that we need to relook at the FRA. How do we make this huge organisation, which is supported so well, into something that will add value to our economy through exports, and to maize and rice? How do we make it viable and different from the former Governments who have kept this sleeping giant in the manner it is in?


Mr Chairperson, with those few remarks, I thank you.


Mr Malambo (Magoye): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for this opportunity to add my voice on behalf of the people of Magoye Constituency.


Mr Chairperson, I take maximum appreciation for the presentation by the hon. Minister, but I just want to raise a few points related to issues surrounding the cash crops that we currently have in the country. I will also talk about the issues surrounding the research industry.


Mr Chairperson, as you are aware, Magoye is the home for the Cotton Development Trust (CDT), which is a research institution that is mandated to improve the quality of cotton and cotton seed. A colossal amount of K25 million has been allocated to the ministry, and I appeal to it to consider the Magoye Research Station to ensure that research on cotton is enhanced. Cotton is dependent on purification because of contamination that affects the seed. The cotton seed is open pollinated, and at the end of the day, it requires purification every time. So, if we neglect this industry, we will always have poor cotton yields and even the quality of cotton will be highly compromised. I appeal to the hon. Minister to consider this very important industry.


Mr Chairperson, the cotton seed and other seeds of cash crops are really at a high risk because research industries have not been well-funded in the recent past. Agriculture was a little bit neglected by the previous Government and I do not know why. However, the cotton institution in Magoye is in a dilapidated condition at the moment and even the staff are very demotivated, and that is the more reason I have stood here on their behalf to ensure that I inform the hon. Minister.


Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about irrigation. Considering the rainfall pattern at the moment in the country, the Southern Province might receive very low rainfall. There are many water reserves underground and we depend on irrigation. So, certain mechanisms can be put in place and, maybe, solar submersible pumps can be subsidised in one way or the other to ensure that farmers improve on irrigation. They can irrigate their crops so that they can help their homes and also, take them to the market. I have seen many products like vegetables, watermelons and bananas at the moment on the market.


Mr Chairperson, the agricultural industry employs many farmers and many people purely depend on this industry. I have seen many farmers now appreciating that the fertiliser has been distributed and they have at least received six bags. In the Southern Province, a few of them have already received and they appreciate that. Otherwise, I wanted the hon. Minister to know about the cotton industry in Magoye, and more especially the CDT.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Nyambose (Chasefu): Mr Chairperson, let me thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for a well-presented statement on Vote 89.


Mr Chairperson, I also want to add a voice on behalf of the people of Chasefu, especially knowing that Chasefu is predominantly an agriculture constituency. People cultivate many crops, namely, maize, soya beans, groundnuts, you can name it.


I also want to state that I, by 100 per cent, support the Budget that has been presented for the Ministry of Agriculture. However, I have a few comments, and also thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture. Since he took over the ministry, personally, I have engaged him and he has been responding and working on certain issues that have been very topical. I can assure him and the Government that some issues are being resolved because of his commitment.


Mr Chairperson, I want to support the resumption of legumes or soya beans distribution. It is something that is commendable. The hon. Minister is aware that, especially in Chasefu, our farmers grow a lot of legumes, as I earlier stated, and they will be very happy that the distribution of legumes has been resumed.


Mr Chairperson, I want to also state that cooperatives are very essential. I want to also state that for Chasefu, fertiliser and agriculture is administered around cooperatives and it is for this reason that I want to take time to talk about the administration of cooperatives or how cooperatives are administered in this country. This may be in Chasefu only and sometimes it is across the country.


The hon. Minister stated in the budget that the Government is going to use the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) system for about 1 million farmers in this country. However, the challenge that I have observed, especially in Chasefu, is that you find one cooperative with a membership of 100 people or seventy five people, sometimes. The people who have e-Vouchers are less than ten and yet all these members in cooperatives participate in the affairs of the cooperatives and make their contributions. When it comes to sharing as the Government desires, that each farmer shall collect six bags or a pack of six bags, the other members who also contribute are denied.


Mr Chairperson, it is, therefore, my encouragement to the hon. Minister to continue with the review of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Even in my maiden speech and whenever I have contributed, I have stated that in the previous regime, FISP was a scandal in this country. I will be available to work with the hon. Minister to ensure that this country benefits in the review and transformation of FISP.


Mr Chairperson, the damage in FISP or whatever good word I can use, I do not want to use other words, is that even civil servants under the Ministry of Agriculture have been involved and have been indulging themselves in the fertiliser business, denying the intended poor farmers. This, I will put a stop to in Chasefu.


I want to encourage the hon. Minister to go deeper and work with hon. Members of Parliament so that we streamline and ensure that the beneficiaries should be the ordinary poor farmers. As at this time, the ordinary poor farmer has not seen the benefit of FISP.


Sir, as the hon. Minister carries out the transformation, I want to urge him to consider whining off those who have benefitted from this facility for so many years so that new cooperatives or new farmers in this country, and in Chasefu, can also benefit.


However, the Government’s desire of ensuring that each farmer gets six bags is very encouraging.


Mr Chairperson, the issues that I have highlighted under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are critical. This is because when you give fertiliser to an ordinary poor farmer in Chasefu, they will have food on their table and be able to take their children to school. However, under the previous regime, there was no oversight role to see to it that the farmers who are intended to benefit are the ones who were benefiting. I have never seen what was happening then where even a District Commissioner (DC) was able to get part of the packs denying the old farmer. This should come to an end. We want the Government to ensure that as it is planning, the money that it has set aside for training, I have seen on page 744 –


Mr Kapyanga: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kapyanga: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to rise on a point of order against the hon. of Parliament for Chasefu. Apologies hon. Member for disturbing your thought process, but I think it is inevitable that I raise this point of order against the hon. Member in question.


Mr Chairperson, citing Standing Order 65, the hon. Member, repeatedly says Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) under the previous regime was a scandal without explaining how it was a scandal and without laying any evidence on the Table as provided for under Standing Order 65, (b), which states that:


A member who is debating shall –


“ensure that the information he or she provides to the House is factual and verifiable.”


Mr Chairperson, the information must be verifiable by virtue of providing evidence on the Table. I seek you serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Member of Parliament for Chasefu provide evidence on how scandalise it was or withdraw the word.




Mr Nyambose: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw. However, I would have liked to go with the people. I am always in the Constituency. The poor farmers never benefited from this fertiliser. Instead, it was just other people who benefitted. Hon. Kapyanga, I withdraw the word and I will attempt to dwell on the facts that I have here. However, I could have said we go on the ground. This is a reality. We are in this House to provide the truth for our people in Zambia. When things are going very well, we should appreciate and when things are wrong, we should agree so that we can find remedies.


Mr Chairperson, I want to encourage the hon. Minister of Agriculture by stating that the training programme should be extended to the agriculture officers. Since we are transforming, the damage was so entrenched that everyone took it as normal to do whatever they were doing; denying the ordinary farmer. I urge the Government that as it embarks on this transformation processes, it should consider retraining agriculture officers so that they can move in the New Dawn thinking of doing things. Maize is a political crop and agriculture can contribute to economic development if well handled as Hon. Mumba indicated.


Mr Chairperson, I have so much support for the hon. Minister. We have engaged and I am ready to work with him so that we transform, especially for the people of Chasefu who are serious farmers and are contributing a lot and the entire Eastern Province. We need to benefit from proper systems that are going to benefit the ordinary farmer in this country. The people of Chasefu are elated. We want to see more fertiliser allocated in the 2022 Budget as the hon. Minister has highlighted. We are in support of this Budget.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debt Vote 89 –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!






[MADAM SPEAKER, in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 7th December, 2021.